Stay Gold

I thought I’d take a quick break from the Prep- and Dessert-Day minutiae before tomorrow’s hustle. I bet that if asked what you’re thankful for, your first answer is “family.” Now, unlike those of you who just say it to give the good and noble answer, I am truly thankful for my family, especially this time of year. In fact, my family are kind of a hidden treasure. Gold coins, really. On a more technical scale, our family name is Aucoin. Now, “Au” on the Periodic Table of Elements is Gold. And “-coin” is pretty easy to figure out. Gold coins.

On the surface we may seem like a normal group, kind of a simple troop. Nay, I say. We are not normal. Growing up with three sisters was anything but dull. We live to laugh; everything with us ends in a comical skit or joke of some sort. When we were younger we would think of all kinds of antics to arouse some kind of merriment–which may have included pantyhose on our heads from time to time, don’t ask. We just enjoy each other’s company. There have been many times of sadness or frustration where I just needed the entertainment my family bring, and boy do they bring it. I mean, sometimes the 200+ texts may be a bit much, but it’s all good.  Aside from all of us girls inheriting same laugh as our mom, I see so many of her characteristics in my sisters and in myself. We are strong, we are forgiving. We are tolerant, we are giving. We commit, we are faithful. Our husbands are pretty fortunate… But faith is the largest trait that I can see in our family. Our family motto is actually: “Pray about everything;” that and “Drink more water,” or “Pie is a breakfast food.” I’m thankful that we had parents who invested time teaching us to do good and be good; to put God first. I’m thankful that now that I’m grown, I benefit from it every time I spend time with them. Now those values get passed onto my kids, and I’m so thankful for a good husband who sees the importance of praying many times a day with us and the importance of being present. I’m so glad that now I see the thankfulness in my children (as seen below). It’s also nice to see that I fall under “bed” for the things that my son is thankful for, hah!

I know that I can call on my family to pray, to laugh, to seek advice. I wouldn’t be who I am without them. Tomorrow, I will wholeheartedly thank God for the treasure he has given me in them, and I hope you do the same with yours. Happy Thanksgiving.

Hugs, Rhonda

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Chocolate Zucchini Loaf Cake

My family likes to bake. We also like to eat. Especially things of the chocolate-sorts. And it’s not like pulling teeth to get kids to eat chocolate, either.

I had a small family gathering this weekend and quickly whipped up these delicious, chocolate-y loaf cakes that were a huge hit with the kids–even though they had a secret ingredient: zucchini! And if I can get them to eat their veggies without any arguments or three-hour whiny dinners, well then I’ll take it. So, I’d like to share my favorite zucchini-filled chocolate dessert recipe.

This recipe is great for those of you who have a zucchini bush growing in your backyard and are getting kind of burned out on grilled or baked zucchini. Or, when your grandmother who also has a zuke bush growing manages to bring you over these puppies because they were “hidden in the back and thought you could use them.”

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf Cake by Thread Bears®

Well, thank you Nana. I did use them. I baked eight loaves using these and one from my garden. So, the neighbors and some relatives got to indulge in their own loaf! Side note, the loaves can be frozen, as well!

This recipe is easy to toss together, with the most work being put into grating the zucchini. Piece of cake. But don’t press out any of the water from the zucchini–it helps keep these loaves nice and moist. Make sure that when you are measuring the grated zuke, that you firmly press it into the measuring cup.

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf Cake by Thread Bears®

The zucchini is hardly noticeable, both in color and in taste, and you don’t feel so bad about giving your kids a nice thick slice!

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf Cakes (Makes 2)

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 packed cups grated zucchini (don’t peel it)
1 cup quality semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven at 350 F. Spray two 9×5 inch pans with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl, beat the sugar and eggs until light and fluffy. Add the oil and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients along with the zucchini and chocolate chips. Stir just until combined, and divide between the loaf pans.

Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until the tops are cracked and springy to the touch. Begin checking it at about 40 mins. Let cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 mins. Pull out of pans and cool on the racks completely.

Chocolate Zucchini Loaf Cake by Thread Bears®

Slice it up and enjoy! Rhonda Potteet

Recipe adapted from Babble